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Attorney General Josh Stein Announces More Than $850,000 for Coastal NC Area Environmental Projects

For Immediate Release:
Monday, March 16, 2020

(RALEIGH) Attorney General Josh Stein today announced $857,500 in Environmental Enhancement Grants for environmental programs in New Hanover, Craven, Jones, Pamlico, Carteret, and Duplin counties.  

Awards include:

New Hanover County

NC Wildlife Federation will receive $125,000 to fund garbage collection of 95,000 tons across the state with a focus on New Hanover and Craven counties. The program includes planting 7,500 trees and 20,000 pollinating plants.

The Nature Conservancy will receive $100,000 to develop an advanced hydrological modeling tool to identify future restoration and conservation locations.

Airlie Gardens will received $62,500 to dredge Airlie Lake to improve capacity and install a living shoreline along the causeway.

“These grants were established to preserve North Carolina’s environment,” said Attorney General Josh Stein. “That’s exactly what each of these projects will do in New Hanover County. I’m proud to support these efforts.” 

“We are so appreciative of the EEG grant. It is an investment in community conservation; removing plastics and garbage from North Carolina waterways, protecting wildlife from being entangled, strangled, and impaled as well as keeping toxins from leaching into our drinking water,” says Tim Gestwicki, CEO, North Carolina Wildlife Federation. “In addition, the grant will allow us to plant thousands of native trees, shrubs and wildlife flowers benefiting native wildlife, curbing runoff pollution, storing carbon, and improving climate change resiliency and adaptation.

“The support from EEG allows us to accomplish thoughtful and detailed water modeling so that we know where to implement remediation strategies that will reduce flooding and improve water quality for people in the Cape Fear River Basin,” said Julie DeMeester, Director of Water, NC Chapter of The Nature Conservancy.

Craven and Jones Counties

Coastal Land Trust will receive $100,000 to make a loan payment on 2019 purchases to secure over 800 acres of land.

City of New Bern will receive $70,000 to create a resiliency plan for the Lowe Neuse River to address the third phase of a flood mitigation plan to overcome economic and socioeconomic losses from massive flooding events.

“Preserving this land will allow generations to come to enjoy all the beauty and adventure nature provides,” said Attorney General Josh Stein. “I am proud to support this effort to maintain land in Craven and Jones counties. I’m also proud to help communities rebuild from recent storms and prepare for those that will unfortunately come in the future.” 

“Coastal Land Trust greatly appreciates this recent EEG award which will help conserve one of the most ecologically significant sites on the coast, the Island Creek Tract in Jones County, an amazing 247-acre property with mature hardwood forest and unusual marl outcroppings that support many rare plants situated along 2.4 miles of Island Creek adjacent to the Croatan National Forest.”

Pamlico County

Ducks Unlimited will receive $100,000 to restore 144-acre wetlands on the Goose Creek Game Lands.

“Ducks Unlimited will improve water quality and restore wetland functions in the Pamlico River Basin,” said Attorney General Josh Stein. “As Attorney General, my job is to protect the air we breathe and the water we drink – and this project will go a long way in ensure clean water for generations to come.”

“The wetland restoration will aid the Wildlife Commission in management through the enhancement of existing wildlife habitat and provide valuable recreational opportunities for the citizens of North Carolina,” said James Rader, Ducks Unlimited Director of Conservation Programs.

Carteret County

North Carolina Coastal Federation will receive $100,000 for stormwater retrofits on public property to reduce stormwater runoff and to install a 460-foot living shoreline and marsh to prevent erosion.

“Thanks to this grant award, public areas in Carteret County will be safer,” said Attorney General Josh Stein. “I am proud to support this effort.” 

Duplin County

The Town of Wallace will receive $62,500 to create a water quality improvement plan, including a survey for wetland delineation and to protect plants and aquatic animals.

The North Carolina Foundation for Soil and Water Conservation will receive $100,000 to install sludge drying wetlands and use a biogenic refinery mobile unit to test innovative animal waste management measures.

“These projects will help Duplin County maintain and preserve land,” said Attorney General Josh Stein. “Doing so will allow generations of North Carolinians to enjoy all that nature has to offer. I’m particularly pleased to support efforts to improve animal waste management.”

“This Environmental Enhancement Grant will help give the Town of Wallace an opportunity to perform a detailed site analysis of the Boney Mill Pond Park site,” said Rodney Fritz, Town of Wallace Planning Director. “We intend to document and implement recommended actions, such as wetland delineation, topography, and mapping to ensure the sustainability and enhancement of the sensitive environment within the boundaries of the park including the wetland areas and associated water quality buffers.”

“The NC Foundation for Soil and Water Conservation is proud to be a partner with the EEG program since 2002,” said Michelle Lovejoy, NC Foundation for Soil and Water Conservation Executive Director. “Through multiple grant awards totaling over $5 million, a total of 249 inactive animal waste lagoons were closed according to state and federal standards. The upcoming innovative animal waste technology demonstration will continue efforts to provide practical solutions to livestock producers to address animal waste management in a responsible and environmentally sustainable manner.”

Coastal Plains

NC State University will receive $200,000 to research and disseminate information into floodwise practices to improve water quality and increase resiliency to flooding on farms and in communities in eastern North Carolina.

“Eastern North Carolina knows far too much about the damage flooding can bring,” said Attorney General Josh Stein. “This research has the potential to help us do more to protect our communities – and rebuild them after a storm comes through. This project is critically important and I am pleased to support it.”

About the EEG Program

These funds are distributed through the Environmental Enhancement Grant (EEG) program, which began after an agreement between the Attorney General’s Office and Smithfield Foods in 2000. Under that agreement, Smithfield provides $2 million each year to the Attorney General’s Office to fund environmental projects across the state.

Due to ongoing litigation, this year’s is the first grant cycle since 2016. In 2020, Attorney General will distribute more than $3.5 million to 27 grantees.

Laura Brewer (919) 716-6484



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